Selling on Amazon – Year One

It’s been a bit over a year since I started selling physical products on Amazon (I did mean to do some ongoing posts about it during that time, oops). I’ve learnt a lot in the year, made some great decisions and some total shite ones. I will share a bit here and document where the business is at now (August 2016).

Finances

I’ll start with the money shot.

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So I’ve done a bit over £150k in sales on Amazon.co.uk and about €15K on the other european Amazon marketplaces. Meaning I’ve hit the threshold to have to register for VAT (boo). This has come off a stock investment of about £30K and all profits being reinvested. Profit margin is about 25% after Amazon fees, VAT etc.

I split the business into the following distinct parts:
Sourcing – Finding stuff to buy and sell at a profit
Prep and ship – Preparing the goods and shipping them out
Business Management – Accounts, VAT, running stuff and other boring crap
Education – Keeping up to date on trends, tools and changes in this business model landscape
I will do more detailed posts on each of these at some point (but don’t hold your breath).

Premises

toys In May 2016 I became a grownup and got dedicated business premises. I started off by packing boxes in the kitchen, boxes would come in and go out the same or next day. I out grew that pretty quickly so started storing stuff in half the living room, which soon filled up. Next a very good friend (if you have interest in aquatic systems check him out) offered me space at his industrial unit. This meant I could start buying in bulk and get deliveries on palettes, and drip feed stock in as required.

In May 2016 I took the plunge and got my own unit. It’s 1,100 square feet costing £700 per month and is 5 minutes from my house. So my mate has his unit space back and my family have a semi normal house again (thanks for the support and understanding).

What Next

When I started writing this I was getting ready for 2016 Q4 (you know that silly shopping season), I’m now at near the end of Q4 and finishing this post so I can do a fuller post on my Q4 shenanigans (which I think have been pretty epic). So pretend your reading this in August 2016. But Merry Christmas.

Changing Times and New Business Models

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Well it’s been a while and a lot has changed since I made my last post. For those new here please feel free to browse the archives, there’s a fair bit of decent stuff though bear in mind the age of it. But in short form… Previously I made the majority of my online income […]

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Internet Marketing and VAT, do you need to Register? Lessons Shared from a Compliance Check

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This is a very UK specific post (though if you’re reading from elsewhere I’d suggest seeking some professional taxation advice). Also I’m not a qualified (or unqualified) accountant so bear that in mind too (however as you’ll read later don’t believe everything an accountant tells you). When I receive a letter from HMRC I generally […]

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Appealing an Adsense Suspension

In my last post I detailed how one of my sites had Adsense disabled due to a violation of Google’s policies, in this post I’ll explain changes made and the appeal process. After receiving the warning email I thought I’d made all the required changes to bring my site into compliance, however obviously not, as […]

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Twitter, a social way to earn your pay

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Nobody can say I was early to the twitter party, then again I was very late to the domain one and that never stopped me looking at things and playing catchup in my own way. I reluctantly joined twitter very late and am not that social tbh, I wouldn’t follow me, put it that way. […]

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Losing a 6 Figure Revenue Stream

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I am a big fan of Google Adsense. They’ve been one of my best revenue streams having paid me over a million dollars through the years and I pride myself on quality content and playing by the rules. You know that statement all good thing come to an end well I was somewhat startled to […]

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The Return of Self Made Minds

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Firstly I’d like to welcome you (back) to Self Made Minds, an entrepreneurial blog where we share the various activities, ideas and stuff we’ve been involved in. We’ve had something of a hiatus from this site, where Scott and I have been up to various business and life experiences and changes. However Self Made Minds […]

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The short domain release and PC

This post has been a while in the making, around March last year I bought my initials SJ.co.uk for £x,xxx – at around the same time Nominet announced they were going to release previously held back short domain names like A.co.uk or AA.co.uk. Reading the announcement it was clear before going to the general public […]

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Update

Little update on the last post I made about a few new buys as I had a couple of emails asking how they are panning out. The catch for £40 free-animations.co.uk did £486 in Oct. 75,000 visitors It’s fairly important to point out this wasn’t just catching an expired domain and parking it, I bought […]

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Link building

Found a company doing a novel new trick, well new to me anyway. They scanned my authority website for dead links Then put up some content relative to my dead outbound links on their own site Then email and ask if they can quote my site with link back to me (naturally I agree) When I confirm […]

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